Buried in comments and answers to other questions here on meta (some linked below), there is an underlying questions that we need to talk about. Are we a Home Improvement community or a DIY community? It seems like the questions are all leaning toward home improvement, and DIY ones are discouraged. Since the site url is DIY, but the name is Home Improvement, it makes it even more confusing.

To me, there is a big difference. Home Improvement would be questions directly related to your physical home, and potentially items in the home that are permanent. DIY implies it is for people that like to do things themselves, not just related to your home. Handyman may be another term more synonymous with DYI.

Here are some example questions that I would consider DIY, that may not fit under the Home Improvement umbrella:

  • What should I use for a stable base for a 10x12 wood shed I am building?
  • What tool tools and equipment do I need to dovetail joints for an end table I am making?
  • How do I fix the leg of my dining room table that broke?
  • What is the best material to make a picnic table out of?
  • A hardwood tree fell in my yard and I cut it up for firewood, how do I store it correctly to season it for firewood?
  • What combination of bedding mix should I use for my raised bed garden (square foot garden)?
  • What's the best way to hang my large LCD HD television to the wall?

Those are just a few, I am sure we can come up with others. Looking at the questions from the original proposal on Area 51, i see both types of questions.

Seeing that the site is not showing a lot of growth and we are having a hard time getting enough questions, perhaps we need to broaden the scope a little bit. People have also mentioned combining with the proposal for the gardening site. I also just saw there is a woodworking proposal.

What should we do?





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  • 5
    I think the site has room for both DIY and Home Improvement questions, but I think expanding the scope too much could cause problems. I think there will naturally be some overlap into gardening and woodworking since these can be part of home improvement questions, but I think the scope would be too broad if we included both in the site. – Tester101 Nov 4 '10 at 17:36
  • 6
    I think it would be OK to include Landscaping, but I'm not sure about Gardening. Questions like "How to build a wall around my garden" are OK, but "What time of year should I plant [Plant name]" are not. – Tester101 Nov 4 '10 at 17:50
  • 2
    I really hope the scope will still include repair of furniture, because I have several questions about repairing used furniture that I would like to ask. The first time I came by the site, it looked like construction-type work only, so I was afraid to ask about my fantasy project, but now I've discovered others have the same interest! – Mark C Nov 8 '10 at 20:29
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    I think the DIY part of the url is still confusing people. Hence why we get questions like: diy.stackexchange.com/questions/3025/… I'm OK with home-based DIY projects but stuff like this is too off topic. – Mike B Nov 21 '10 at 18:07
  • I've always interpreted this as "DIY for the Home", and not found it confusing.The fuzzy boundary is that DIY could involve professional help. Or, as we tell people who seem confused about what the black wire does in electricity, we recommend professional help. – Bryce Dec 12 '13 at 20:44
  • I think there are plenty of questions, but the questions are often too specific. The rare question is a general one like "how do I wire an outlet", and there's a lot of "how do I wire an outlet that's inside a leaky attic surrounded by moldy drywall where the prior owner ran gas inside". – Bryce Dec 12 '13 at 20:55
  • The name of the site is Home Improvement (and it's scope is defined in the help center). It's url is just a lot shorter when you call it DiY.SE - Gardening has it's own site and there's also Lifehacks... and wooden furniture questions go to Woodworking. But if it requires the knowledge of the use of any tool that I own, it's on-topic in my book. People shouldn't have to lie about the project they're working on to learn how to use any tool that has a conceivable use in the construction industry. – Mazura Dec 1 '17 at 23:59

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